Cornwall

Dog helps lightning-strike Redruth mayor

Ian Thomas and Monty
Image caption Ian Thomas was on his way to feed animals while holding a metal bowl when he was struck

A Cornish mayor who was struck by lightning has hailed his pet dog who led him back to his house so he could raise the alarm.

Ian Thomas was on his way to feed animals while holding a metal bowl when he was struck, thrown into the air and left unconscious.

After he woke up, he grabbed hold of his schnauzer, Monty, who led him home.

Doctors said the mayor of Redruth would have died if he had not been wearing Wellington boots which insulated him.

Mr Thomas, 64, had been on his daily visit to feed chickens, goats and a donkey near his home in Wheal Mary at about 06:45 BST on 17 October when he was struck.

He said: "My body was flying up in the air, not falling forward.

"I was seeing the sky with my feet in front of me and the ground below."

He fell unconscious for up to 20 minutes and when he woke up, grabbed hold of the eight-stone dog who helped guide him the 100 yards back to his house.

He added: "I use the dog quite often as a prop or walking stick when I am out of breath. I say to him: 'Help me, help me', and he comes to heel.

"There he was, God bless him. I was able to use him to drag myself up and back to the house."

Mr Thomas spent four days in the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske and still has marks on his head and his hip.

Doctors were initially unsure what had happened to him but, after an MRI scan and an electrocardiogram, he was diagnosed as having been struck by lightning.

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